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CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Finance Minister launches IT initiatives ICEDASH, ATITHI for improved customs clearance
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled two new IT Initiatives – ICEDASH and ATITHI for improved monitoring and pace of customs clearance of imported goods and facilitating arriving international passengers.
- ICEDASH is an Ease of Doing Business monitoring dashboard of the Indian Customs helping the public see the daily Customs clearance times of import cargo at various ports and airports.
- The ATITHI app will facilitate hassle-free and faster clearance by Customs at the airports and enhance the experience of international tourists and other visitors at the airports.
|Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs||Nirmala Sitharaman|
|Constituency||Rajya Sabha (Karnataka)|
Ministry of Shipping Announces First Ever Movement of Container Cargo On Brahmaputra
- The first ever containerised cargo movement via Indo-Bangladesh protocol route and Brahmaputra river will start from West Bengal’s Haldia
- The vessel MV Maheshwari, carrying 53 containers of petrochemicals, edible oil and beverage will take 12-15 days to reach the IWAI terminal at Pandu in Assam’s Guwahati,
- The vessel will sail through national waterway-1 (river Ganga), NW-97 (Sunderbans), Indo-Bangladesh protocol route and NW-2 (river Brahmaputra)
- The latest IWT movement is aimed at providing a fillip to North East Region’s industrial development by opening up an alternate route for transportation of raw material and finished goods
|Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)|
|IWAI Chairman||Amita Prasad|
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar to attend 15th meeting of Governing Council of SACEP in Dhaka
- Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar will attend the 15th meeting of the Governing Council of South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) in Dhaka.
- The SACEP is an inter-governmental organization which was established in 1982.
- Its member countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka aim to promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the region.
- The 14th meeting of the SACEP Governing Council was held in March last year in Colombo.
|Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change & Minister of Information and Broadcasting||Prakash Javadekar|
|Constituency||Madhya Pradesh, Rajya Sabha|
MSDE and IBM jointly launched SkillsBuild platform
- The Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) launched the SkillsBuild platform in collaboration with IBM.
- As part of the programme, a two-year advanced diploma in IT, networking and cloud computing, co-created and designed by IBM, will be offered at the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) & National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs).
- The platform will be extended to train ITI & NSTI faculty on building skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- SkillsBuild offers digital learning content from IBM and partners such as CodeDoor, Coorpacademy and Skillsoft.
- The digital platform will provide a personal assessment of the cognitive capabilities and personality via MyInnerGenius to the students.
|Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship|
|Union Minister||Mahendra Nath Pandey|
|Constituency||Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh|
Agriculture Minister releases 5th edition of Wastelands Atlas – 2019
- Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar released the fifth edition of Wastelands Atlas – 2019.
- The Atlas, published jointly by Department of Land Resources and National Remote Sensing Centre, provides robust geospatial information on wasteland.
- It is helpful in rolling back the wastelands for productive use through various land development programmes and schemes.
- Wastelands Atlas-2019 also provides State and district wise distribution of different categories of wastelands area in the country and will be helpful in addressing land degradation.
- Wastelands Atlas’s last edition was published in 2011.
- This is significant as it takes into account 12.08 MHa of unmapped area of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for the first time.
- The effort has resulted in estimating the spatial extent of wastelands for entire country to the tune of 55.76 Mha (16.96 per cent of geographical area of the country i.e. 328.72 Mha) for the year 2015-16 as compared to 56.60 Mha (17.21 per cent) in the year 2008-09. during this period 1.45 Mha of wastelands are converted into non wastelands categories
|Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Welfare|
|Union Minister||Narendra Singh Tomar|
|Constituency||Morena, Madhya Pradesh|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE
Assam government sign Rs 400-crore (50 mn Euro) pact with French Development Agency
- The French Development Agency (AFD) and the Government of Assam signed a 50 million euro project agreement (total budget of 62.5 million euro) towards supporting the state government’s initiative to restore Assam’s forest ecosystems and preserve their biodiversity.
- The loan of 50 million euro (Rs 400 crore) would be utilised for implementing the second phase of the Assam Project for Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC), which aims to reforest an additional 12,000 hectares of land, scale up efforts in biodiversity conservation and skill the members of 135 additional communities in different trades
- The total budget of the second phase is Rs 500 crore (the State government will contribute Rs 100 crore).
- Under the first phase of the project which began in 2013, reforestation was done in 21,000 hectares of land, 33 flood refuge sites (highlands) built in Kaziranga and over 6,000 members of local communities trained in alternative livelihood
- AFD Country Director Bruno Bosle and Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam, Environment and Forest Department Jishnu Barua signed the agreement in presence of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Ambassador of France to India Emmanuel Lenain and Assam Environment & Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya in Guwahati
|Assam CM||Sarbananda Sonowal|
|Assam Governor||Jagdish Mukhi|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
ADB to give $451 mn for Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor power links
- Asian Development Bank will provide a $451 million (about Rs 3,200 crore) loan to strengthen power connectivity between the southern and northern parts of the Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in Tamil Nadu.
- The total cost of the project is $653.5 million, of which the government will provide $202.5 million
- The estimated completion date is the end of 2024
- The project will help promote economic development by delivering a more reliable and competitive power supply for industry and services in the state, which will in turn spur jobs and improve livelihoods,
- The project will establish an extra-high voltage 765-kilovolt (kV) transmission link to transfer the 9,000 MW of extra capacity from Virudhunagar in the southern CKIC northwards to Coimbatore, a major industrial center, and Chennai.
- The project includes construction of a 400-kV network to pool power generated at renewable and thermal power plants in Thoothukudi district to Virudhunagar
|Asian Development Bank (ADB)|
|ADB Headquarters||Mandaluyong, Philippines|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
IPS Officer Aditya Mishra Appointed as Chairman of Land Ports Authority of India
- Senior IPS officer Aditya Mishra was appointed as the chairman of the Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI)
- Mishra is a 1989 batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre.
- Mishra has been appointed for a period of five years from the date of assumption of the charge,
- LPAI develops, sanitises and manage the facilities for cross-border movement of passengers and goods at designated points along the international borders of India.
- The Land Ports Authority of India is a statutory body working under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOUR
Serbia’s Sara Damnjanovic crowned Miss Asia Global 2019
- Serbia’s Sara Damnjanovic has been crowned ‘Miss Asia Global 2019’ at the international beauty contest held recently in Kochin, Kerala.
- While Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Yen Trang won the ‘Miss Asia’ title, Samiksha Singh from India took home the sub-title of ‘Miss Beautiful Face’
- The event was conducted to showcase the rich culture of the country and to promote its tourism sector.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU
MSTC ties up with Allahabad Bank to develop e-auction platform
- MSTC Ltd has signed an agreement with Allahabad Bank for the development of a dedicated e-Auction platform directly linked with the Indian Banking Association’s portal (https://ibapi.net) for sale of non-performing assets (NPAs) through the SARFAESI (Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest) Act.
- The e-Auction platform will be a one-of-a-kind solution, where a bidder once registered, will be able to participate in auctions for all banks
- MSTC is a Kolkata-headquartered Central Government of India company engaged in domestic and international trading.
- It specialises in the international trade of ferrous input materials and has imported millions of tonnes of ferrous melting scrap, old ships for breaking, sponge iron, hot briquetted iron, re-rollable scrap,
|Allahabad Bank CEO||S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao|
|Allahabad Bank Headquarters||Kolkata|
|Allahabad Bank Tagline||A tradition of trust|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
IIT-Madras launches affordable standing wheelchair ‘Arise’
- Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, in collaboration with Phoenix Medical Systems, launched the country’s first indigenously-designed standing wheelchair
- The wheelchair was launched at IIT Madras Research Park in the presence of Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment
- Wheelchair named ‘Arise,’ was designed and developed by the TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2), headed by Sujatha Srinivasan, a profiessor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT-Madras
China launches Sudan’s first satellite “SRSS-1”
- Sudan’s first satellite, the Sudan Remote Sensing Satellite (SRSS)-1, was successfully launched by a Chinese Long March 4B satellite launch vehicle from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in China’s northern Shanxi Province
- The Long March 4B launch included the Gaofen-7, Xiaoxiang-1 08, and Whampoa-1 satellites, all owned and operated by Chinese entities.
- The SRSS-1 was developed and built by Chinese satellite manufacturer Shenzhen Aerospace Oriental Red Sea Satellite Co. on behalf of the Sudanese government, and will be used for both civil and national security Earth observation missions.
- Gaofen-7 will play an important role in land surveying and mapping, urban and rural construction and statistical investigation
|China Currency||Renminbi, Yuan|
|China President||Xi Jinping|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMIT AND CONFERENCE
50th World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting to be held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland
- The 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting will be held on 21-24 January 2020, in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
- WEF annual meetings aim to engage world leaders in collaborative activities to shape the global, regional, and industry agendas at the beginning of each year. The development of the meetings’ programme is driven by WEF’s mission –- improving the state of the world
- The theme of its 50th Davos summit would be “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World”.
|World Economic Forum (WEF)|
|WEF Executive Chairman||Klaus Schwab|
|WEF Headquarters||Cologny, Switzerland|
PM Modi inaugurates 5th India International Science Festival 2019 in Kolkata
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 5th edition of India International Science Festival (IISF) 2019 through video conferencing in Kolkata.
- The four-day science festival, being organized from November 5-8 , aims to build a strategy for inclusive advancement of Science and Technology
- The Theme for this year’s festival is “RISEN India – Research, Innovation, and Science Empowering the Nation.
- The third edition of IISF 2017 was held in Chennai. The fourth edition of IISF was held in Lucknow.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE
US-Bangladesh Navy exercise ‘CARAT- 2019’ begins in Chattogram, Bangladesh
- The second phase of the biggest US- Bangladesh Navy exercise named ‘Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT)- 2019’ started in Chattogram, Bangladesh
- The exercise provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the operational activities of the Navies of two countries and to get acquainted with advanced technology through various theoretical and practical training.
- The second phase of the exercise is being conducted from 4 to 7 November with different subject-based training and exercise.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
Ireland’s Amy Kenealy Retires from International Cricket
- Ireland Women’s Amy Kenealy has announced her retirement from international cricket after an 11-year career with the senior side
- 31-year old Kenealy made her debut against West Indies Women in 2008 at her club cricket home ground in Rathmines. Since then she has played 72 times for the national team, claiming 45 wickets at an average of 32.84
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARIES
Retired Judge of Madras High Court N.V. Balasubramanian Passed Away
- Retired Judge of Madras High Court Justice N. V. Balasubramanian has passed away
- Justice Balasubramanian was appointed by the Tamil Nadu government as Chairman of committees on fixation of fee for self-financing professional colleges and polytechnics.
- Balasubramanian served as the Madras High Court judge from 1996 – 2007